When campus clears out in May with the majority of students heading home for summer, your favorite Elon shops and eateries stay open for business. 

"Once students leave, it's pretty slow around here," Jason Thomas, owner of The Fat Frogg, said. "I would probably say it drops 50 to 65 percent every year."

That's the reality for many business owners in Elon. When students pack up and head out for the summer, sales plummet and leave employees in a tricky place. 

A popular spot for students on the weekend, The Fat Frogg staff prepares for the slower business all year, according to Thomas. 

"There's a saying 'you have to put hay in the barn,'" Thomas said. "So through spring, through graduation we just try to put away as much as we can."

Even though it can be financially tough, Thomas said the slower business can also have its perks. 

"It's still a little shocking when it actually does slow down that much," Thomas said. "But no we enjoy it. It also gives us time to re-vamp, clean up, paint, add new things."

Brian Rea | Elon News Network

A sign outside the Simply Oak Boutique displays the store's summer hours.

Some Elon businesses, like Simply Oak Boutique, rely on town residents to keep sales up. 

"We try to do pop-up events that are around town or in surrounding cities," said Melissa Troutman, owner of Simply Oak Boutique. "And then we rely on our online presence a little."

But one Elon business claims the summer season didn't affect its sales. 

This was the first summer Magerk's Pub and Grill was open. General Manager Sammerah Qawasmy said business stayed steady even with students gone. 

"We were not sure what to expect whatsoever, but it was really good," Qawasmy said. "We met a lot of people that we had never met before and became friends with them and kind of formed habits of all of them coming in, completely forgetting what the school year was like."

Regardless, employees say summer isn't the same without students.

"We're so excited to see everybody," Qawasmy said. "We missed you guys." 

In anticipation of students arriving back on campus, business owners are mixing things up.

Qawasmy said Magerk's is rolling out a new menu and will be part of a parternship with Elon sports. The Fat Frogg also added new specials and will start game night on Wednesdays with pool tournaments, giant Jenga and corn hole, Thomas said. Simply Oak Boutique has new clothing lines hitting the rack too, according to Troutman.